Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

New Human Rights Council to bash Israel like old Human Rights Commission

The United Nations is electing a new 'Human Rights Council' today, which is meant to replace its old 'Human Rights Commission,' which had ceased to function. The reason that the Commission had ceased to function was that human rights violators had come to realize that they could avoid accountability by becoming commission members and then diverting attention away from their violations. The principle diversionary tactic was to focus on Israel. Of the commission's two agenda items dealing with country-specific human rights violations, one was reserved solely for Israel, while the other was meant to cover the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, according to David Matas writing in the Ottawa Citizen, the new Human Rights Council is not likely to do any better:

Will the new council be different? Although it was the UN in New York that decided to create the council, it will be the UN in Geneva deciding its agenda and working methods. In the Geneva discussions, Israel has been sidelined -- a bad sign.

Country representatives have met in regional groupings in Geneva to discuss the council. Israel was not allowed into any meeting, the only country so excluded. Israel was never allowed into the Asia regional group even though it is the geographic area in which Israel belongs, because the anti-Zionist states have never allowed its inclusion. The next logical choice was the Western European and Others Group (WEOG), which includes Canada. The WEOG group has allowed Israel membership in New York, but not so far in Geneva.

Although Israel should on principle have full membership in WEOG in Geneva, it has expressed a more modest ambition for the run-up to the council, simply to be part of the WEOG Geneva discussions on the new body. Even this, WEOG has so far refused.

The French essayist Rochefoucauld once said that the absent are always wrong. By barring Israel from discussions on how to prevent the new council from becoming a replica of the Israel-bashing commission, UN member states look well on their way to re-creating the old commission problems in the new human rights body.

Read the whole thing.


Post a Comment

<< Home